I would consider the cold war aera as one of the most exciting time periods too, especially for "what ifīs".
Back to your questions. The scale of the squares is 500m, so itīs much bigger as for example Steel Panthers
and doesnīt need as much micro-management.
On the other hand itīs far away from the scope of "operational" wargames. Although while playing, due to the radio range, order delay and the we-go system, you can get a bit "operational" feeling.
There are many details like fatigue, trainings skill and so on, but it never goes into massive micro-managent. Itīs more important to set up a well considered battle plan and doctrin. To be clear, itīs a tactical combat game. So you have to look for LOS check, elevation and very important is a well placed arty/airstrike timing too.
Above all it can be played very fast paced. Itīs possible to conduct a battle in one evening, although the bigger ones need a bit longer. That doesnīt mean that the gameplay is braindead..........., I played different operational wargames and I canīt remember me planning as carefully an attack like I do in FG.
Is the AI good ?
Be sure that you have to restart some battles, because your plan didnīt work and the losses were too high.
The AI isnīt weak and isnīt capable of genious attacks. But due to the we-go system it isnīt so easy to exploit the system. Once you pressed the "Next Turn" button, the only thing you can do is pray, that your plot will work.
If you use your vehicles the wrong way ( for example long distant fights with T80 against M1 or Leo ), the desaster will be yours.
I like this game. Sometimes I get the feeling of playing a Tank-Sim (like M1 Tank-Platoon) on a bigger scale, without thinking of the whole micro management stuff and with a very well made UI.
The down-side is, there are only few maps to play. I donīt know if its possible to create new maps (perhaps with Photo-Shop). Due to this, there arenīt many custom scenīs made. The only oneīs I know are the red/blue stars and one or two here in this forum. I did a little one last week. Itīs quite simple to create new ones. There is a very smart editor.
If youīre gonna play every battle on both sides, you will have enough hours (100+ or so) of gameplay. And replay value is high, because there are allways different ways to approach and the AI isnīt doing the same things over and over again.
I hope this will help a bit.
< Message edited by Nebogipfel -- 9/22/2010 4:23:33 PM >